(Update, September 2nd: Terry McCarthy, Customer Advocate, Executive Customer Relations, Customer Satisfaction Programs from Lenovo Services worked with me to resolve the problem to my satisfaction. Thanks to Terry, but not Lenovo Asia / Malaysia / Ms. Andrea Ong – Lenovo Care Manager, ASEAN Services, whose solution, despite claiming to really be listening to me, was to offer me a sale price on a new Thinkpad. I am glad to have my faith in Lenovo restored and I look forward to using Lenovo in the future, at least Lenovo USA anyway.)
I’ve decided to write publicly about my situation with Lenovo Customer Support because they are basically ignoring me. I am trying to resolve a situation with my Thinkpad X220T.
In summary, I bought the device and paid premiums in pricing for Thinkpad quality, a 3 year warranty, and a touch screen (to use as a tablet for Windows 8). 1 year from purchase, the device has never been stable under Windows 8 – I don’t mean errors sometimes crash, I mean the system cannot boot and I lose data. The touchscreen developed a crack during a recent business trip in which one morning, I opened the Thinkpad lid, and the crack was there.
Lenovo feels the crack is directly attributable to my usage – I disagree, but more details about that are below.
What I consider the most troubling of all, is that I have explored all the channels to resolve the cracked screen issue. Lenovo USA, Lenovo Sales (Phone: 1 855 253 6686), Lenovo Vietnam (Phone: 12011072 – Floor 3B, 37 Ton Duc Thang, District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City), and Lenovo Malaysia. Each time, I have talked to a generally polite Customer Service Representative who has informed me of the warranty policy stating that the cracked screen is my problem.
I have asked repeatedly to escalate the issue and speak to a supervisor or someone who is able to make a decision regarding my problem. Lenovo USA referred me to their Vietnam office (I am working in Vietnam). When meeting Lenovo’s Vietnamese employees, they were clearly avoiding my request to escalate the issue. Eventually, they referred me to a regional email ([email protected]). After several days and another follow-up from me, I was able to talk to someone on the phone. I explained I understood the policy, but asked to escalate the issue if that person was not authorized to make a decision directly. While the rep did look into the issue, when she replied, she did not provide this escalation information as requested, and I had to ask again, as in the email below, sent last Friday to Lenovo Malaysia.
Right now, it is Tuesday night, and no one has answered my email.
While this has been going on (over the last couple of weeks), I called Lenovo in the USA again, and was denied warranty support and told to call Customer Care at 1-800-887-7435 to escalate the problem. I did and was told again about the policy but was not allowed to directly escalate the issue during that call. Juvette told me that even a supervisor had no authority and that a different department would need to look into the problem and would respond within 72 hours (3 days).
This was one full week ago.
Since I frequently travel on business and live in the Vietnam time zone, it is no easy task to find time to follow-up with Lenovo so much.
Now, I’m stuck. I can call Customer Care back, but I expect they will say the same thing – that someone will respond within 3 days and that I am not able to speak to someone directly. Since Lenovo has proven that they WON’T respond to me, how I can believe it the next time I am told this?
I don’t know if I will be able to settle the issue with Lenovo Malaysia. They may be responding to my email late on purpose as a tactic or perhaps no one at Lenovo has any responsibility for escalation.
I’ve amassed a bunch of case numbers and CSR names during this process – Case A059PQ7, Case A05HQT2, EMKI1300016; Juvette, Brittney, Tim F, Aisleen, Tan, Son, Chu, Jessie.
I feel like I have been reasonable and patient throughout this process, but Lenovo seems determined to make me absolutely hate them. What is seriously wrong with Lenovo?
Below is my last email to Lenovo Malaysia from last Friday:
Thank you for continuing to help with this; I appreciate your effort.
However, I would still like to speak with the supervisor or the key person responsible for these decisions, as I mentioned before. Can you help me with this?
I am open to the repair proposal, but there is a bigger problem.
The reality is that I have been very unhappy with my X220T device since I bought it a year ago. As I mentioned to you over the phone I have experienced non-stop issues with it, which I’ll briefly summarize here, but can explain in more detail if needed. There are not just annoyances, but critical machine-stopping problems.
- The machine has never worked with Windows 8. At first, I was able to excuse this because of beta drivers or just early launch issues. Ever since first installing it late last year, it had consistently died within several weeks. The machine would simply not stall during startup (the logo) and never boot, when every other time, it would load within 10 seconds (pleasantly quick). Sometimes, system restores would help, other times not. I have even created mirror image backups through Windows 8 that would still fail to boot after restoring. I have lost personal data multiple times because of this.
- In all, I have spent over 100 hrs trying to figure out the issue in various forums and reinstalling Windows seven times since late last year. I have run all of Lenovo’s system diagnostics, looked for help everywhere online, but couldn’t figure out the issue. I have had my tech support staff spend tends of hours looking into it as well. After a fresh install with minimal programs, I would load all of the newest drivers and system updates through Microsoft and Lenovo hoping this new install would benefit from fixes, but it would only soon crash again. I actually reinstalled my computer again just yesterday, this time to Windows 7.
- Aside from this primary issue, Windows 8 on this machine would also consistently exhibit CPU idling issues in which the CPU would run at 33% at full priority even while nothing running. This would happen even with fresh installs. Eventually, after consulting Microsoft forums, I was able to find that the issue was a Lenovo software, so I had to stop installing Lenovo software.
- Most recently, using the desktop in Windows 8 would cause the computer to freeze and I would have to instantly shut down and restore to a previous state to get another few days before the issue would happen again. I have done all the antivirus and hardware checks that I could find, but there has never been a reason to all this.
- Other than this, even using Windows 7, the system had issues with Sleeping (it would not go to sleep properly and then overheat if carried around while traveling) and also USB ports that would not consistently recognize devices (flash drives, hard drives) that other machines would.
For many of these issues for the past months, I have blamed Microsoft, but now I am beginning to feel that the Lenovo machine has to have some part in the problems. It can’t just be all software related.
As I mentioned originally, I have loved the Lenovo Thinkpad line for a decade, paying premium prices for its computers. I had a T61P before this, and have always recommended Lenovo first in the workplace.
With my X220T, however, I just don’t trust it anymore. I am guessing I have just had extremely bad luck, but I almost feel cursed.
Perhaps we can get the screen repaired, but it’s a touch screen. It was supposed to be able to withstand stresses from touching, and even when I hadn’t used it much as a tablet, it still cracked for no reason. My fear is that it will crack randomly again.
I don’t know if the machine will ever work under Windows 8, and I feel afraid to even try – and I bought the X220t with the tablet specifically to wait for Windows 8 and use it as a tablet/laptop hybrid.
Thus, I would like to find a solution for the device itself. Obviously, to have your staff try to troubleshoot the machine and Windows would likely be time consuming and fruitless. In addition, since I travel with this machine frequently, it would not be convenient to be unable to work for a few days.
At this point, I would be open to exchanging the machine. I would be open to exchanging the machine for the non-tablet equivalent of the original, the normal X220 with similar specs. The non-tablet X220 is less valuable in price but I am willing to accept that loss. My reasoning is that I would be happy to use that machine with Windows 7, and I won’t have a constant reminder or fear of another cracked screen. I will just give up my aspirations for tablet computing and Windows 8.
I hope that Lenovo can appreciate my history and work with me to find a solution that doesn’t make me feel that Lenovo has turned its back on me.